Hawkins County's $40 wheel tax increase goes into effect Oct. 1

Jeff Bobo • Aug 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County Clerk Nancy Davis announced Friday that the new $40 wheel tax increase will go into effect on Oct. 1.

That will set the cost of renewing a license plate in Hawkins County at $96 annually.

As of July 1, the state tag fee increased by $5 to $29 as part of Gov. Haslam’s initiative to improve Tennessee’s highways and bridges.

The county wheel tax had been $27, but is increasing to $67. Hawkins County now has the 10th highest wheel tax in Tennessee.

The $40 wheel tax increase achieved final approval by the County Commission in June to eliminate a $2 million revenue deficit in the 2017-18 budget.

Earlier this month, a petition seeking a referendum on the wheel tax increase fell short by 127 signatures.

Because the increase doesn’t go into effect until Oct. 1, instead of July 1 when the fiscal year begins, Hawkins County’s 2017-18 budget will be without four months’ worth of new revenue, or about $500,000.

But with the unspent funds that carried over from the the 2016-17 fiscal year, the 2017-18 budget was $1.6 million in the red at the time it was approved.

Budget Committee Chairman Stacy Vaughan said the county should be able to make it through this year despite losing that $500,000 in wheel tax revenue. The 2018-19 fiscal year will be the first budget for which the entire $2 million in new revenue is available.

Along with the $40 wheel tax increase, the renewal fee for specialty plates such as UT, ETSU, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Wildlife etc. will be affected.

The specialty plate fee is $36, which sets the total cost of renewing specialty plates at $132.

Fees for other plates, such as weighted plates and for-hire plates, will increase as well.

Mail in renewals postmarked prior to Oct. 1, 2017 will be processed without the $40 wheel tax increase. Renewals received postmarked Oct. 1 or later will be charged the additional $40 wheel tax.


More about the Hawkins County Wheel Tax:

Hawkins approves $40 wheel tax hike, but petition can make that null and void

Hawkins petition seeking wheel tax referendum falls 127 signatures short

Hawkins County's lower crime rate has hefty price tag

Mumpower to Hawkins commissioners: 'Do your job. ... Balance the budget'